There are few things in life that make a truly perfect couple. For most of us, for instance, the reality that we may never find that special someone must be accepted - although this doesn't mean we should be prevented from hoping to experience the joy of a flawless union.
But one such alliance that can be universally enjoyed is evident in the partnership between the GBA and the 2D-reliant Super Mario platform games.
While our focus here, Yoshi's Island, remains true to the Mario universe, it focuses its attention entirely on the shenanigans of Yoshi, the friendly dinosaur. His task, to reunite the baby twin riding on his back with his kidnapped brother, will see you negotiating fiendish candy-coloured worlds filled with typically imaginative adversaries and moving obstacles. To ease your journey Yoshi can do more than his usual platform jumping antics; eating melons, for instance, makes him fire seeds in your chosen direction, while other power-ups will see him display helicopter and tunnelling-machine capabilities. You soon learn to expect the unexpected and each new development provides genuine delight.
If there is a criticism to be made, it is only slight and resides mainly in the fact that the game relies perhaps a little too heavily on the restricting linearity of its storyline that channels you through the game, something that may antagonise those who prefer a more open-ended approach to in-game progress. But ultimately even the most experienced gamers won't fail to be delighted. Yoshi's Island on the GBA is tantamount to a beautiful symbiotic relationship. The necessity of adding a player to the mix effectively creates a crowd, but one that gets along beautifully.Yoshi's Island is on sale now (but hard to track down these days!)